Omega has joined forces with the Swiss Federal Institute of Metrology (METAS) to produce a new all-encompassing watch certification process to rival COSC.
Omega will begin using the METAS certification process next year, to test each of its watches using anti-magnetic Master Co-Axial movement but the process will be open to all watchmakers.
Nick Hayek, Swatch Group chief executive officer, was joined by Dr Christian Bock, director of the Swiss Federal Institute of Metrology, and Stephen Urquhart, president of Omega, at Geneva’s Cité du Temps this morning to announce the partnership.
Hayek stated that Swatch Group wished to retain its ‘leadership position’ in the Swiss watch industry and that the partnership with METAS was the next logical step in the face of a COSC chronometer standard that he said ‘needs to be strengthened’.
The new certification process will test whole watches rather than simply movements and will be carried out by the Swiss government body responsible for ‘all matters involving measurement and measuring procedures’.
Dr Bock pointed out that the new certification process would give OMEGA and other Swiss watchmakers the opportunity to demonstrate the quality and timekeeping performance of their watches to a greater extent than has previously been possible and would only agree to work on projects when it was convinced that its neutrality and independence was not compromised.
Raynald Aeschlimann, OMEGA’s Vice President and Head of International Sales, said: “All of these define our brand. The boutiques place our watches close to the consumers where they can explore them in detail. The casebacks allow the examination of the movements that are such an important part of our story.
"And this new, completely independent ‘Swiss Made’ certification confirms the quality of each watch that earns it. It’s an important milestone for both our brand and the industry.”
The process will include tests for precision during and after exposure to magnetic fields greater than 15,000 gauss. They will have to perform within a tolerance of 0 and +5 seconds per day, for autonomy (functioning without winding, measured in hours) and water resistance.